Clayton Kershaw gets the call for the Dodgers on Friday night against the Reds, looking for his 10th win of the season. He'll look to last at least seven innings for the sixth consecutive start, but that's not even his longest such streak this season.
Kershaw had a career-best seven-game streak of seven-inning starts from April 28 to May 31, too. He has lasted seven innings of more in 15 of his last 17 starts and in 17 of 21 starts this season. Those 17 starts of seven innings or more are the most in baseball this season, one more than Adam Wainwright and Cliff Lee.
Kershaw is averaging 7.25 innings per start, second only to Wainwright (7.37) in MLB this season.
In 2011 Kershaw averaged 7.07 innings per start in his Cy Young winning year, just the fourth time since 1990 a Dodgers starter averaged seven innings per start, with at least 20 starts. The others were Kevin Brown in 1999 (7.21) and Ramon Martinez in 1994 (7.08) and 1990 (7.10).
Kershaw's 7.25 innings per start is the best mark by a Dodger since Orel Hershiser averaged a whopping 7.51 innings per start in 1989. That was the third straight season Hershiser led the league in innings pitched. He threw a combined 788⅓ innings from 1987-89 and averaged 7.61 innings per start during that span.
There is another streak Kershaw has as well. He has walked zero or one batter in six straight starts. He has a 2.40 ERA during that span — which has raised his ERA from 1.84 to 2.01 — with 44 strikeouts and just four walks in 45 innings.
The two Reds with 10 career plate appearances against Kershaw have had success against him. Brandon Phillips is 7-for-16 (.438) with a walk, while Joey Votto has two home runs and three walks, though the first baseman is also 4-for-17 (.235) with 10 strikeouts against Kershaw.
Kershaw is 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA in six career starts against the Reds. In both career home starts against the Reds, Kershaw lasted exactly seven innings and allowed four total runs. But the Dodgers lost both games.
Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket